The Broncos’ season is quickly unraveling after a 53-6 thrashing by the Eels, with their finals hopes hanging in the balance.
Brisbane leveled a huge blow early on when Adam Reynolds was sent off in just the 12th minute for a failed HIA as the Eels went four tries without reply.
Things got worse when Thomas Flegler was taken to hospital after a blow to the neck, Kobe Hetherington also failed an HIA and Brenko Lee left the field late in the game with a leg injury.
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Maika Sivo scored the first points of the night for the Eels and followed that up with three tries in 10 minutes.
The Broncos showed signs of life when Lee went over in the corner, but the red-hot Eels hit back with another try – and a field goal – just before half-time.
Fox League’s Michael Ennis said the Broncos were “absolutely whipped”.
“I think they’re shot, I think they’re in a big, big problem. I really don’t know how Kevvie Walters can get an answer – their season is on life support,” Ennis added.
The Eels struggled to take their foot off the pedal in the second half until the 65th minute when they scored two tries in the space of three minutes.
They put the nail in the coffin with two tries in the last three minutes.
BRONCOS’ SEASON ‘ON LIFE SUPPORT’ AFTER 113-POINT OUTLET
The Broncos have conceded 113 points in two weeks – a staggering statistic for a team that has been in the top four for just five weeks.
It is also the first time in club history that they have conceded 50 points in consecutive games.
Coach Kevin Walters said in his pregame chat that the Broncos needed to “pick up our defensive effort,” but the message didn’t seem to get through to his playing group … at least not in the first half.
The Broncos scored five tries in the first half – including three in the first 18 minutes – in what Fox League’s Greg Alexander said was a big “danger sign”.
Michael Ennis tore Brisbane’s “non-existent” defense to shreds at half-time.
“They’re absolutely flogged, that’s 91 points a game and a half now,” he said.
“Their line of defense is non-existent because the Parramatta side is running riot, the offloads are causing them all sorts of drama.
“I think they’re shot, I think they’re in a big, big problem. I really don’t know how Kevvie Walters can get an answer – their season is on life support.’
It didn’t get much better in the second half as the Eels ran on four more tries – two of them in the last three minutes.
“There’s a lot of soul-searching at half-time, there’s got to be some pride in this shirt in the second half, 91 points in 120 minutes is just unacceptable,” Corey Parker said.
“The wheels have well and truly fallen off.
THE INTENSITY OF THE ANGLES SPARKLED IN A BRUTAL SESSION
The Eels made their intentions clear in the first half against the Broncos and it was clear they were reluctant to go before they even turned up at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday.
Eels coach Brad Arthur revealed before the game that three players required stitches in a tough final session – and that’s the level of physicality he wanted to see on the field.
“We have to start our practice and I thought we had a really good last practice,” he said.
“There was physicality, there was intensity, we had three guys cut themselves and we ended up with 18 stitches from practice.
“We did everything right during the week, so now we have to take it on the pitch.
And that’s exactly what the players did with the front pack.
“They started the game really aggressively … the Broncos went out there early to play football and the Eels went out there for a collision,” Matty Johns said.
Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo ran 98 and 78 meters respectively in their first stint.
They reached 167 and 165 metres, while Shaun Lane, Isaiah Papali’i and Ryan Matterson broke the century and Marata Niukore fell short with 99 metres.
Meanwhile, Payne Haas was the only Broncos player to break 100 meters.
“Parramatta’s big bodies do the damage,” Fox League’s Michael Ennis said.
THE EEL “WEAPON” WAS IN PROGRESS
He’s not the biggest name in the game – far from it – but Corey Parker asked: “Is there a better back rower than Shaun Lane at the moment? after the Eels star had three tries.
Lane threw an important offload on the Eels’ first down, threw a cutout pass in the lead on the second down and then hit the hole before setting up Clint Gutherson.
“He’s been such a weapon for the Eels this season … What a game he’s been making,” Fox League’s Greg Alexander said of Lane.
“It’s just man against boy… playing with spiders,” added commentator Andrew Voss.
Matty Johns said Lane “terrorised the Broncos” as the 27-year-old finished with a try assist, two lineouts, a lineout assist, eight tackles, four clearances and 148 running metres.
“The damage he’s done this season is staggering, he’s been tremendous,” Michael Ennis said.
Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 19. Jordan Pereira 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 16 Corey Jensen 14. Billy Walters 15. Kobe Hetherington 21. Keenan Palasia 22. Zac Hosking. Substitute: 18. Delouise Hoeter
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Tom Opacic 5. Waqa Blake 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah ‘ i 17. Marata Niukore 13. Ryan Matterson 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Jakob Arthur 16. Oregon Kaufusi. Substitute: 20. Bryce Cartwright
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